The unique immunologic environment of the liver, together with its anatomic location downstream of the gut, influences the maturation and function of its interstitial dendritic cell (DC) populations. These well-equipped, antigen-presenting cells play critical roles in regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. New information is emerging about the molecular regulation of liver DC maturation and function, and their tolerogenic potential, while new insight is being gained regarding interactions between liver DC and other immune effector cell populations (NK, NKT cells) in addition to T cells. During transplantation, factors that affect liver DC biology include ischemia-reperfusion injury, liver regeneration, viral infection and the actions of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs. Herein, we review the molecular and cell biology of hepatic DC populations in relation to the regulation of alloimmune responses and liver transplant outcome.